Combustion safety is a leading concern for many builders, but it is rarely considered with respect to plumbing piping. Safety-conscious builders, plumbers, and homeowners should consider a few key elements:
FlowGuard Gold® CPVC is self-extinguishing. When exposed to a normal house fire, FlowGuard Gold pipes and fittings will develop a char but will not make the fire worse by continuing to burn once the flame is removed. This is because FlowGuard Gold CPVC has a limiting oxygen index (LOI) of 60, meaning that it requires 60% oxygen in the air to sustain a flame. Other non-metallic plumbing materials have an LOI of less than 20, meaning they burn easily and sustain a flame in normal air.
In fact, FlowGuard Gold CPVC can be used in the plumbing portion of a multi-purpose or passive purge fire protection system when combined with BlazeMaster CPVC.
FlowGuard Gold CPVC and PEX Burn Test
Third party laboratory testing of inhalation toxicity using the United States Testing - Pittsburgh Protocol - 12-8-89 shows that CPVC is no more toxic than a campfire. The Biological Services Division of the United States Testing Company, now SGS, confirms that the smoke from burning CPVC is comparable to the smoke from Douglas Fir wood. Caution: Inhalation of smoke from a house fire is never recommended, while CPVC will not significantly add to the toxicity of a house fire, other building products can produce more harmful smoke.
FlowGuard Gold plumbing systems are joined using a solvent welding process meaning there will be no need for torches or flames during the installation. Copper tubing generally requires the use of a flame to solder joints, which creates a significant hazard during construction. In some cases that hazard requires a fire watch be present on the job site, adding cost and complexity to the work. If for any reason a fire is needed for other work in your home, you can trust the fire resistance of FlowGuard Gold pipes and fittings to minimize the risk of plumbing pipe ignition.